Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Has anyone seen my stem cells?



Dear Best and the Brightest,

Well, a couple of days have now gone by since camp, and I've learned that there are things in the world besides stem cells. And you have to admit, is there really anything quite as nice as a “pluripotent” stem cell? Sure there's the adult stem cells, bone marrow and the possibilities of umbilical cords, but can we ever match the potential of the embryonic stem cell? Ah, but you say what of tampering with the creation of life, and I say excellent thinking, but what of the cells that get thrown out from the IVF clinics? My question is, where do they put them... you know, when they throw them out.... "say Jim, did you throw out the old bag of embryonic stem cells?” Answer: “No Irwin, trash day isn't until Thursday.” I mean, how does it happen? And speaking of the unknown, we’ve all heard of Milk of Magnesia. Do other things come from “Magnesia?” Can I get this in juice form, as in “juice of magnesia?” Maybe there’s a sandwich, like the “Chicken of Magnesia Sandwich.”

But, back to stem cells for a minute. Maybe we could have taken a filed trip to the nearest IVF clinic and asked the kind folks in the white lab coats how this really happens. You see, instead of having all the answers now, what we do have is much better questions, and that was the whole point. In the course of one very excellent week, we discovered the middle ground, which is all but lost in American politics and culture. The credit goes to you for your excellent analyses and discussion. I'm really proud of the progress everyone made during the week – to be able to learn the mechanics of formal debate and examine and form opinions about a complex scientific topic in one week is simply amazing!

I'm interested in getting your thoughts and opinions about camp, learning and the world, which is why I set up this blog. Please post your thoughts at this site. The blog is an empowering place, so get your ideas out there and the world can know that you have something to say too.

Though you came from different places in the world with different backgrounds and cultures, not a hateful word (to my knowledge) was spoken all week long. Thanks for your open mindedness. Thanks also for an inspiring week. Collectively, you have the brainpower to make great contributions and changes in the world.

Lee

p.s. I don't know yet, legally, if I'm allowed to offer any courses and private instruction to you (for those interested). There was some talk of doing this, but I'll have to find out first. When I do, I'll let you know.
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